First look: Cbus lodge plans for striking Walker Street apartment tower in North Sydney

The new Walker Street project will home 189 apartments, a mix of studios through to four-bed apartments, as well as a handful of Walker Street Terraces
Joel Robinson July 7, 20220 min read

The growth of North Sydney continues with plans lodged by development giant Cbus to create a new residential tower.

The tower will rise 28 levels from a prime 3,950 sqm across 173-179 Walker Street and 11-17 Hampden Street, in an area known as the East Walker Street Precinct, up the road from the Aura by Aqualand development.

The new Walker Street project will home 189 apartments, a mix of studios through to four-bed apartments, as well as a handful of Walker Street Terraces.

Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer Adrian Pozzo said the intention is to develop high-end owner-occupier residences in this fabulous location, with views across the eastern side of Sydney Harbour and northern Sydney.

“In recognising the prime location of the site within close proximity of the vibrant and burgeoning North Sydney CBD, we seized the opportunity to create this partnership to deliver this outstanding residential development opportunity,” Pozzo said.

Local architecture and design firm fjmtstudio has designed the latest plans for the tower. Plans had previously been submitted by SJB on behalf of Avenor, who sold the site to CBUS in a joint venture for around $150 million last year. Avenor planned for 266 apartments when they had the site.

Fjmtstudio Design Director, Richard Francis-Jones, said delivering improved outcomes for the local community was a key objective for the proposed development.

“We have worked carefully within the approved planning controls to design a building that optimises view sharing and sunlight access for our immediate neighbours,” he said.

“It is a unique and innovative design, generated directly from these key community issues. It has been very helpful consulting with the local community to understand their concerns and explain our design."

In their Design Concept submission to the local council, fjmt said they have developed an architectural response that draws from the character of a freshwater gully stream eroding its way through this place of ceremony, leaving behind a series of sandstone fissures and verdant landscapes.

"The tower and podium forms of Hampden Street suggest horizontally stratified and eroded undercrofts typical of the sandstone escarpments of the Harbour and the subtropical gullies of the North Shore.

"With the brick terraces of Walker Street offering sympathetic scale, structure and contemporary reference to the typologies of our post-colonial past.

"The public domain and landscape design draw upon these references and details to establish a landscape of uncommon character and exceptional quality both for the residents and neighbours of the precinct."

Fjmt note the site is ideally located and structured for redevelopment as high density residential development as the wider North Sydney LGA is seeing a development boom in commercial and residential projects looking to leverage the state and local government investments in multiple public transport hubs for TfNSW Buses, Metro and Train networks.

"The object site is but one within the LGA undergoing significant evolution in character and use and supported by the North Sydney Council strategic planning objectives."

The existing Walker Street frontage contains five residential buildings with two residential buildings located on the Hampden Street all of which are products from the early 1950’s.

The natural designs flow through to the resident only main plaza, which will home 1200 sqm of landscaped space featuring extensive seating, a walking track, dry creek, sandstone terracing and retreat areas.

"The site is envisioned as an urban oasis recreating the lush landscape that exists on site while celebrating the level changes and water as the feature the landscape sanctuary only for residents."

Fjmt have made a conscious effort to make the building green, targeting a GreenStar rating for the Walker St project. It will be ran off electricity, with solar power supplementing demand. It will promote an active lifestyle, with a car share scheme.

The majority of the building, over 70 per cent, will be two and three-bedroom apartments. 

Residents will have access to a wine library and adjoining wine storage space on the lower ground level, as well as bookable meeting space. The lobby is on the ground floor, where there's also a reading lounge space, a work from home business centre, and the building's concierge.

Traditional resident amenity is located on the fourth level. There will be a lap pool, gym, sauna, spa, a bookable dining room and function space, sun decks, and a barbecue area.

North Sydney is undergoing a construction boom in both residential and commercial development, which will all be aided by 19 key projects in the area delivered by government and private investment, representing an addition of more than 17,000 sqm of new parks and plazas.

Between Berry Street and the Pacific Highway, the closure of Miller Street gives room for a 7,450sqm public plaza outside the Victoria Cross metro station.

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and new developments across the country
North Sydney apartments
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